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NSA: The finder and keeper of countless US secrets

MGN Online

MGN Online

WASHINGTON (AP) - An email, a telephone call - even the murmur of a conversation captured by the vibration of a window.

They're all part of the data that can be swept up by the super-secret National Security Agency.

The NSA's job is to use the world's most cutting edge supercomputers and arguably the largest database storage sites to crunch and sift through immense amounts of data.

The information analyzed might be stolen from a foreign official's laptop by a CIA officer overseas, intercepted by a Navy spy plane flying off the Chinese coast, or, as Americans found out this past week, gathered from personal phone records.

NSA code-breakers use software to search for keywords in the emails or patterns in phone numbers that might link known terrorist targets with possible new suspects.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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